Oil on Canvas
14x18 inches

I haven't painted for 4 months, which also means I've been absent from CA. Finally got a break from work and needed to get back into it. So I chose to do a portrait of a friend.
I hope you like it.
All comments are welcome.

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Comment by Stephen Williamson on May 6, 2014 at 6:05
Thanks, it does help.
Comment by Michael Chomse on May 6, 2014 at 0:32

Thanks Stephen. The theme of the painting was transition from darkness towards light. 

I took this from a photograph. The subject was very badly over-exposed against a boring building background.

Design: In the design phase, to make the painting work the way I wanted it to, I isolated her figure from the background. I wanted there to be a lot of space around her, giving the figure the feeling of movement. To enhance that, I placed her low in the frame, with a lot of headroom, and the edge of her profile more towards the left of the frame, unbalancing the composition. Normally you would give a figure moving right to left a lot more space on the left, so they have room to move into something. I wanted to give the sense that she is moving away from something, hence the compositional choice.

Painting: I worked in the blue, graded from dark through light, right to left. Once I had done that, I painted her face and shawl against the blue background. The contrast of chroma was high, complementaries... blue background against the warm flesh-tones, and that phase was quite harsh. I wanted to get away from that. So, with the hue and values set, I added the orange/yellows around her face, and that brought her forward and out of the background in a more lucid, gentler way.

Hope the explanation helps.

Comment by Stephen Williamson on May 5, 2014 at 8:57

I really like this. It's something about the composition or lighting and how she's placed, but I can't put my finger on it. How did you choose where to place her? Thanks, and well done!

Comment by Michael Chomse on April 30, 2014 at 20:22

Anja, Cristina and Larissa - thanks for your kind comments. Nice to meet you here.

Jon, Craig and saghi - Thanks for stopping by and being a great encouragement. I look forward to catching up with your latest work while I've been off-site... 

Michael - Thanks for the welcome back, I'm glad to see your smile and exclamation marks!!

Ann - Thanks for the insightful comments. Yes, my friend has been through some tough times. She's a working artist, and is moving into new areas, new ways of expression, and this painting celebrates that transition. 

Comment by Ann Turner on April 30, 2014 at 17:18

Beautiful technique ! She is very emotional as if receiving a blessing or strength. Her face is strong but with beauty that looks like it has been hard won. I am curious about the symbol behind her ? Significance ? The scarf, background, and hair all show movement but her features are still. The contrast adds to drama 

Comment by Michael J. Severin on April 30, 2014 at 13:37

Beautiful ...welcome back Michael!!

Comment by Craig Seaborn on April 30, 2014 at 13:18

Great work Michael

Comment by Jon Main on April 30, 2014 at 6:58


Comment by Larissa Svinoukhova on April 30, 2014 at 3:02

 Very nice portrait! Facial expression is very impressive, as if at last it was over and there is light ahead! Or I am not right? But I like it!

Comment by Cristina Mihailescu on April 30, 2014 at 2:35



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